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FAMILIES will need help to rebuild their lives after fleeing the devastation of Cyclone Phailin, reports children's charity Plan International.
Up to one million villagers were evacuated as the the storm tore across the Eastern Indian coast on Saturday, leaving nine confirmed dead.
Plan's disaster head of disaster response, Dr Unni Krishnan, said the same rapid response needs to be applied to relief efforts in the aftermath.
"There are a lot of displaced people and they are very unlikely to return home over the next few days or week," said Dr Krishnan, from Delhi.
"Close to one million people are living in temporary safe centres - health and sanitation requirements must be a priority."
Dr Krishnan praised the work of government agencies in evacuating thousands of families, a move he credited for saving lives.
"This attention to detail should remain when shifting to the relief phase because post-disaster scenarios can be a breading ground for disease outbreaks," said Dr Krishnan.
"Children must be the priority. For a lot of them, this will have been the first time they've seen a cyclone and it will have had a massive impact on them."
The storm was the strongest to hit India for more than a decade - destroying homes, flooding towns and causing widespread damage.
"There are key challenges ahead, including hygiene, water and sanitation for displaced families," said Dr Krishnan.
"People have lost their crops and means of employment, so livelihoods are a priority also."
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